Six years after his death, Bold Leader Steve Jobs presence is still being felt at Apple, and this time it’s in the company’s next innovative development in wearable technology. For the past five years, a super-secret team has been working on one of Jobs’ bold visions—the development of a wearable device (like a smart watch) that would non-invasively and continuously monitor important vital signs, most importantly blood sugar levels.Accomplishing the task has proven elusive so far, but if successful, both the financial and the social rewards would be enormous. In the US alone, 29 million Americans suffer Type 2 diabetes and another 86 million adults – more than one in three U.S. adults – have pre-diabetes.
Jeff Dachus, chief executive for One Drop, a diabetes app, notes, “This is the most expensive health care problem in society today”. Worldwide, diabetes is recognized as the fastest growing chronic disease (415 million cases in 2015).
To accomplish the goal, Apple has assigned members from its Smart watch team and has also acquired sensor technology and biomedical experts to tackle the problem.
Diabetes, “the most expensive health care problem in society today”
This bold idea will take a bold commitment backed by a substantial financial investment. According to DexCom Executive Chairman Terrance Gregg, to accomplish the goal of accurately detecting glucose levels will cost “several hundred millions or even a billion dollars.”
Not only does Apple have a secret team working on the Holy Grail for treating diabetes, so does Google. Google has partnered with DexCom to tackle the same challenge, a smart watch or wearable device to lead the way in healthcare monitoring.